Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Give a student an inch... #GP20Time

...and they will blow your mind.

It has been a couple of weeks since I introduced 20 Time to my students and their parents and I just wanted to share with your some of the ideas they have started to explore for their projects.

Learning Russian
Painting a mural in downtown Detroit
Starting a charity that does arts and crafts with children in hospitals
Building a car from scratch
Publish a book
Write a symphony 
Swim to Canada for Charity
Organize a 5K
Meet a new person every single day and document it with photos
Do something that scares them every single day and document the results
Run a marathon for the first time

These are just a handful of ideas students are tossing around. Some students are nervous about finding a project, but they love the idea that I have made failure an option. I stressed that I wanted them to go big or go home and many are taking that to heart. Honors students tend not to take risks because most seem to be wired to get the A and move on. The students have started to embrace the idea that they can try something completely new and see what they can learn. 

20 Time Friday is the best way for me to end my week. The kids just have a buzz about them as they explore their ideas and talk to others about their plans. I'm really excited about how the rest of this year is going to unfold. These kids are about to change the world and I get to be along for the ride. 



  1. Really enjoyed this - the combination of "failure IS an option" with "go big or go home" is great. It's so much more fun to fully engage to learn!

  2. We're not yet 1:1 at my school---but will be next year. I am SO looking forward to doing this!

  3. Great to see the kids setting goals! I'm interested to hear about how they will develop their approach to achieve their dreams.

    Keep us informed!

  4. If you have aspiring novelists, send them here >>> Lots of support for writers who want to tackle a novel! And then they can publish and sell it on Amazon... Crazy cool!

  5. It's like you have been sitting in on my class. My 7th grade Humanities is ALL about failing and doing it in spectacular fashion. That and me not knowing everything so they actually have to figure stuff out for themselves. Hope to get to meet in person some day.

  6. Hey Nick...I was reading your posts on some of the ideas the students came up with to explore your 20% project and I will be running my first marathon in 7 weeks. If they need someone to talk too, interview, google hangout, whatever, I'll be happy to help in any way! I have all the info I have documented, apps used, training schedule etc. if they need someone to help. Just shoot me a DM on twitter, I follow you or by email. Good luck sounds like a great lists of ideas to get them started.

  7. I recently started to follow your blog for a grad class, and I am intrigued by this project. I love the idea of students creating and learning through choices. Just curious if you have had any pushback from administration? In this age of standardization, it's becoming harder and harder to incorporate projects like this as there is such a push to use lesson plans created by curriculum teams. This has frustrated me many times; teachers often don't have "time" to include authentic learning tasks because we are stuck with strict pacing guides that dictate daily lessons.


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